Swingarm Play (pivot bolt damage)

jetmechmarty

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I went into this believing I only need replace my worn bronze bushings 1983 XS650SK due to excessive play. Turns out, the play is from a worn pivot bolt. The swingarm bushing is stuck and isn’t coming out easily. I kept it greased, so the pivot bolt came out easily. It looks like a lube fail to me. You can clearly see no wear around the grease holes.
@5twins has long been preaching about adding a grease fitting to the middle of the swingarm tube. I’m listening. Is that going to fix this?

It sure is a rinky dink setup and a weak point in the XS650 design.
 

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GLJ

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The pivot tube should not be turning on the bolt. Is the tube stuck in the bearings?
Every decade or so it should have been disassembled, cleaned and reassembled wit fresh grease.
I just had the swing arm off of the survivor I'm working on. It came apart very easily. Cleaned it all up, fresh grease and put it back together.
No excessive play.
 

jetmechmarty

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The pivot tube should not be turning on the bolt. Is the tube stuck in the bearings?
Every decade or so it should have been disassembled, cleaned and reassembled wit fresh grease.
I just had the swing arm off of the survivor I'm working on. It came apart very easily. Cleaned it all up, fresh grease and put it back together.
No excessive play.
The bolt was not pivoting in the frame. The long steal bushing is pivoting around the pivot bolt and the steel bushing is not pivoting in the bronze bushings.

Oh! The steel bushing is out beyond the bronze bushings by a few thousandths, so they should not have been bound up against the frame.
 

GLJ

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Correct. The tube is frozen in the bearings. The bolt should "squeeze" the frame together to pinch the tube so it can't turn.
Make sure to check the thrust covers for damage.
Even adding another grease point will not make it bulletproof. Every few years it should come apart, everything cleaned and fresh grease used.
I consider it winter work.
1644188755626.png
 

gggGary

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:agree:
I'mma guessing those bushings were never the correct size, the pivot tube was forced/driven into them, it never turned and the pivot tube/bolt interface has been acting as the pivot. It should not be doing that.
you'll have to drive out the pivot tube, I suggest machining a mandrel to drive it out. then maybe those bushings could be reamed to size. or you'll have to drive out and replace them also. wouldn't hurt to confirm the swing arm bore is round and not flattened from some abuse. This the same bike that broke two shocks?
I've run into pivot bushings that were not correctly machined to the correct size ( I have a set like that still floating 'round the bins).
I now also have a reamer to clean up installed bushings if it's needed.
 
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jetmechmarty

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GLJ

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I would not go with needle bearings. Bronze bushings will work just fine. Some have said that because of the limited rotation of a swing arm needle bearing are not the best thing to use.
 

jetmechmarty

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This the same bike that broke two shocks?
Yeah, buddy!!!
I suggest machining a mandrel to drive it out.
Lucky me, I have a friend with access to a machine shop I can only dream of. He has volunteered to handle it for me! :bow2:

You may be right about the interference fit. I slept since then and learned a bunch in between.
 

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I get a bit bad vibes on the drilling you all like
Discs ..Side covers and here a Zerk in the swing .
Generally speaking the designer at the factory has made efforts to not have excess material in the design
The XS 650 being an old design. There can be room .In contrast to modern computer optimized designs
But drilling a hole in a load bearing factory item still makes me a bit nervous
And strangely not heard of any drilled rotors ( brake disc ) getting warped which happens on modern rotors
Thinner and with more stopping power of course.
Probably fine and analyzed but personally I would hesitate and go with the Service tear down. As First option
 

gggGary

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I would not go with needle bearings. Bronze bushings will work just fine. Some have said that because of the limited rotation of a swing arm needle bearing are not the best thing to use.
I'm with greg on this. Installed one all balls needle bearing pivot set, the second set will never leave the bin. For a while a German guy was selling bronze pivot bushings on fleabay they were good piece of kit.
There are many sellers of bushing on fleabay now. TC bros claims theirs are USA made.
 

arcticXS

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So, I need this kit and a new pivot bolt, yes? If I understand this, the bearings are pressed into the swingarm tube, two on each end. The long steel bushing fits inside. Do I understand it correctly?
Correct. I have a somewhat similar setup in my XS, but with only one needle bearing each side, plus a short, flanged bronze/ brass bushing. I have very good experience with OEM needle bearings in my 2 Ducatis. The 95 Monster has done around 100 000 km, and still has the original bearings installed. I think I have cleaned and greased them twice.......
 

jetmechmarty

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I already have the bronze (or brass?) bushings, so there's that. My Yamaha XS1100SG has the swingarm on tapered roller bearings. It's a superior trouble free system that needs little service.
 

GLJ

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tapered roller bearings
Remember when repacking front wheel bearing on cars was a thing?
I know there were no zerks to introduce new grease into them. It was also done to get rid of old dried out grease.
Grease does get old, dry and worn out. Reminds me of a couple of girls I used to know.
 

jetmechmarty

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Remember when repacking front wheel bearing on cars was a thing?
I know there were no zerks to introduce new grease into them. It was also done to get rid of old dried out grease.
Grease does get old, dry and worn out. Reminds me of a couple of girls I used to know.
For the record, I did repack the XS Eleven swingarm bearings with synthetic grease a while back.

yamahaxs650.com has the needle bearing conversion kit for $79.95 US. I assume it's the same kit, or parts of it.
 

grizld1

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Just be sure that needle bearing kit doesn't use a needle thrust bearing like the kit Mike's sold back in the day. Directions said to limit torque on the swingarm bolt to 25 ftlbs. That's not enough to stabilize the frame at the swingarm pivot, and if you apply book torque you destroy the needle thrust bearings. Been there, done that, wiped my behind on the ugly T-shirt, installed bronze bushings and never looked back.
 

arcticXS

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Just be sure that needle bearing kit doesn't use a needle thrust bearing like the kit Mike's sold back in the day. Directions said to limit torque on the swingarm bolt to 25 ftlbs. That's not enough to stabilize the frame at the swingarm pivot, and if you apply book torque you destroy the needle thrust bearings. Been there, done that, wiped my behind on the ugly T-shirt, installed bronze bushings and never looked back.
Would correct torque be a problem if the sleeve is correct length? If the thrust washers or bearings are installed with for example 0.10 mm axial play, I imagine all would be good.
 
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